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KEY TO CHART II.-SHOWING THE DIFFERENT METHODS OF REMOVAL PRESCRIBED BY LAW, ROMAN NUMERALS BEING USED FOR REFERENCE TO CHART ON OPPOSITE PAGE.
1-State Bd. Port Wardens
2 State Bd. Pub. Charities
3-Bd. Mgrs. West. Home Refuge Women (Albion) 4-Bd. Mgrs. Reformatory Women (Bedford) 5-Bd. Mgrs. Train. Sch. Girls (Hudson) 6-Bd. Mgrs. Indust. Farm Colony (Green Haven) 7-Bd. Mgrs. Train. Sch. Boys (Yorktown H'ghts) 8-Bd. Mgrs. Reform. Misdemeanants 9-Bd. Mgrs. Rome Custodial Asylum
10-Bd. Mgrs. Cust. Asy.F'bleminded Women (Newark) 11-Bd. Mgrs. Letchworth Village (Thiells) 12-Bd. Mgrs. Syr. Inst. F'bleminded Children 13-Bd. Mgrs. Craig Colony Epileptics (Sonyea)
14-Bd. Mgrs. Hosp. Care Crippled Children
19 Bd. Mgrs. Willard State Hosp.
23-Bd. Mgrs. Binghamton State Hosp.
24-Bd. Mgrs. St. Lawrence State Hosp.
25-Bd. Mgrs. Rochester State Hosp.
26-Bd. Mgrs. Gowanda State Homeo. Hosp. 27-Bd. Mgrs. Mohansic State Hosp. 28-Bd. Mgrs. Long Island State Hosp.
29-Bd. Mgrs. Kings Park State Hosp.
30-Bd. Mgrs. Manhattan State Hosp.
31-Bd. Mgrs. Central Islip State Hosp.
1-Commn. Investigate Housing Cities 2nd Cl. 2-Fire Island State Park Commn.
3-Public Service Commn. (1st Dist.)
4-Public Service Commn. (2nd District.)
5-State Commn. Prisons.
6-Conservation Dept. (Commn.)
7-Joint Pur. Comm. Char. Inst.
1-State Supt. Elections
2-Fiscal Supervisor State Charities
RMVD. P'T RPL. ACT APPTG. P'T SEN. REC. GOV. XI
1-Bd. Trust. State Sch. Agr. (Morrisville)
2-Bd. Control State Sch. Agr. Dom. Sc. (Delhi)
4-Bd. Trust. Soldiers and Sailors Home (Bath)
1-N. Y. State Fair Commn.
1-Bronx Parkway Commn.
2-Workmen's Compensation Commn.
3-Commner. Index Session Laws
4-Commn. Fed. Legis. Alien Insane
5-Commn. Invest. Port Cond. N. Y. Harbor 6-Voting Machine Commn.
7-State Racing Commn.
8-N. Y. State Athletic Commn.
9-Commn. for Blind
10 Commn. Investigate Prov. Ment. Def. 11-Ketchum Memorial Commn.
12-Const. Conv. Commn.
13-Commn. Revise and Codify Tax Laws
1-Sing Sing Prison 2-Auburn Prison
4-Great Meadow Prison
5-State Farm, Women (Valatie)
6-Dannemora State Hosp. Insane Convicts
7-Matteawan State Hosp. Insane Criminals 8-Dir. Psychiatric Inst.
9-State Supt. Weights and Measures 10-Miscellaneous Reporter
12-Spel. Examiner, Appraiser Canal Lands. 13-State Reporter
14-Supreme Court Reporter
REMOVAL PROVISION NOT SPECIFIED
Prescriptions of Merit System Defective
The main body of appointed civil servants who fall, of course, within the second group mentioned above, are subject to the provisions of Art. V, Sec. 9, so far as qualifications and fitness are concerned. This article stipulates that:
Appointments and promotions in the civil service of the state
shall be made according to merit and fitness, to be ascertained, so far as practicable, by examinations, which, so far as practicable, shall be competitive; provided, however, that honorably discharged soldiers and sailors from the Army and Navy of the United States in the late Civil War, who are citizens and residents of this state, shall be entitled to preference in appointments and promotions without regard to their standing on any list from which said appointments or promotions may be made. Laws shall be made to provide for the enforcement of this section.
Limited to "Examinations" as a Test for Promotion
It will be seen from the provision that the test of qualifications and fitness for appointment and promotion here established is, so far as practicable, that of the competitive examination. Experience under this constitutional requirement, while in many respects highly satisfactory, has raised grave doubts as to the desirability of limiting the judgment of comparative merits to the results of "examinations." The term “examinations" has usually been construed broadly by the courts to cover inquiries and tests which are not strictly in the nature of examinations as commonly understood; but in practice the term has often been used narrowly. Inasmuch as there is an increasing tendency to rely on educational and professional training and practical experience in determining the qualification of candidates, the question is raised whether the language of the Constitution should not be made broader and at the same time more precise.
Gives Soldiers and Sailors Preference Without Regard to Standing
Certainly there is grave doubt as to the desirability of injecting the proviso that certain soldiers and sailors shall be entitled to "preference" in appointment and promotion without regard to their standing on any list. The welfare of the state is quite as much affected by efficient civil service as it is by honorable military service. Furthermore, honorable military service is no evidence of fitness or qualification for performing one or another of the hundreds of different kinds of civil service-many of which are highly technical in character and require for their efficient performance specialized training and cumulative experience. To incorporate in the constitution a provision such as this is destructive of the whole purpose behind the popular demand that led up to the adoption of the merit system, and it is only done for reasons other than the betterment of the public service. If soldiers and sailors are of equal competence with civilians, they need no preference. If they are not, the provi
sion that they shall be preferred without regard to their standing on any list means the relaxation of discipline, the loss of faith on the part of other employees that they will be fairly dealt with, the loss of respect for the service by the men who are called upon to do the work of the government, and the lowering of the morale of those who have hitherto rendered honorable service.
Makes for Official Irresponsibility
Considering the matter, therefore, from the point of view of justice to the public interest, and to those who have spent their lives in the civil service of the state, the provision is equally indefensible. The federal government has already provided liberally for the soldier and sailor in recognition of their honorable services. For similar reasons. the state looks after their declining years by maintaining homes for them. If the state has further obligations to those who have been retired from the military service, it would be better for the military service and for the civil administration if the government should frankly grant to such soldiers and sailors pensions to equal the salaries they draw, than to continue the policy of preference wholly unrelated to fitness or quality of work done. There can be no doubt that such a preference makes for official irresponsibility and for individual incompetency by setting up conditions that are incompatible with the efficient handling of public business.
METHODS OF REMOVAL
No argument is necessary to show that the system of removals from office has as much influence upon the efficiency of the personnel as the system of appointment (see Chart II, p. 38a). An examination of the present provisions for removals shows the same confusion and lack of reasoned purpose which were found in the case of methods of appointment. The various methods of removal now employed in the state government are as follows:
1. The general power of removal by impeachment is vested in the assembly on conviction by the constituted court of trial in such cases. The expense and unwieldy character of this process of removal make it useless except in cases of charges against high officers.
2. The governor may suspend but not remove the treasurer for violation of his duty.
3. The governor may remove the superintendent of public works and the superintendent of prisons and some statutory officers, without the consent of the senate.
4. The governor may remove a great majority of the important statutory officers only with the consent of the senate.
5. Appointing officers, such as the superintendent of public works and of prisons, are frequently given the power of removing important subordinates summarily.
6. In some cases, the officer making removals is limited to removals for specified causes, and in other cases by general provisions, such as the requirements of the public interest or the unfitness of the incumbents, and in still other cases by no restrictions susceptible of precise definition.
7. In some cases an officer making removals must show specific causes and give the person whose removal is sought an opportunity to be heard; in other cases a statement of the reasons for the removal of an officer must be filed somewhere as a matter of record only, without affording the person removed an opportunity to be heard.
Not Consistent with Provisions Governing Appointments
In order to illustrate graphically the system of appointments and removals, so far as the definition and enforcement of responsibility are concerned, a third chart has been prepared which is designed to show both these relations (p. 42). On this chart the methods of removal are shown at the bottom of the lines running to symbols showing sixteen different methods of appointment. To show these in combination, by a more general grouping, Chart IV, p. 44a, has also been prepared. Reference is made to the same list of departments and offices as far as the methods of removals could be ascertained within the time available.
PROVISIONS RELATIVE TO THE TENURE OF PUBLIC AGENTS
In seeking to secure responsiveness, responsibility and efficiency in government, the matter of the tenure of public agents becomes of prime importance, and calls for consideration with reference to constructive standards rather than the idea of preventing usurpation on the part of a hereditary monarch.
Responsiveness required that the government should accurately reflect popular opinion on all fundamental matters. Changes in that opinion will have no necessary relation to the rotation of the earth on its axis or around the sun, and to secure responsiveness, therefore, it is not imperative that elections should be held every year or every two years. If a government truly represents the electorate, there is no theoretical reason why it should be subjected to the interruption incident to a campaign or the course of industry and business should be disturbed by an election which leaves the same party in power.